Washington State preview capsule
HEAD COACH: Mike Leach 1st year at Washington State, 84-43/10 years overall
2011 RECORD: 4-8, 2-7/6th in Pac-12 North
KEY PLAYERS: The QB is always key in Mike Leach's pass-happy offense, and senior Jeff Tuel, his 2011 season lost to collarbone and leg injuries, won the job in the spring ... Junior WR Marquess Wilson might catch more than the 82 balls he grabbed a year ago, but Leach wants better effort from him ... CB Damante Horton, who had four interceptions a year ago, leads an improved secondary.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars sent out a signal they want to play with the big kids when they hired Leach, whose Texas Tech teams played in 10 straight bowl games. If he can maneuver WSU into a bowl this season after the lean years of Paul Wulff, excitement in Pullman, Wash., will continue to swell.